Thursday, September 20, 2007

Things pertaining to this life...I Corinthians 6:4

The first time I did a word cloud of my blog is was pretty sparse, but I think that was back when I only had 2 or 3 posts. Now it pretty much sums up my life.

Get your own here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Rise up early...Exodus 8:20

I have been trying to get up early. Is 3:15 a.m. early enough? Something roused me from what I am sure was a wonderful dream. As the fogginess cleared I recognized the noises. The Dog was in his crate whining and a scratching noise was coming from the back porch. I nudged The Man awake.

"The raccoon is back."

Earlier this summer we had a family of coons visiting our screened-in back porch (obviously not screened-in enough) and swiping some dog food out of the plastic trash bin we stored it in. Scratch, scratch, scratch, whump...scratch, scratch, scratch, whump...That is the sound of a mama raccoon sitting on top of the trash can, lifting up the lid (while she is sitting on it), retrieving some dog food, releasing the lid, then doing it all over again. We moved the trash can into the living room (lovely) for a month or so. I finally went a bought a can that had handles that lock over the lid. We inserted a stick through the handles so the lid can't come off until the stick releases the handles.

We were hoping this would be too much for the raccoon to do on its own, but still simple enough to allow Sacagawea to feed the Dog. The stick was removed from the handles this morning, but the lid was still closed. With the Dog on alert, I think we caught the raccoon in time. This raccoon was by itself so we think it was one of the young coons that visited with its mother earlier in the summer.

The Man shooed it off the porch with the help of the spotlight and a few pine cones. I was just dozing off back to sleep when the sounds returned.

This time I grabbed the camera. After it left the porch the second time, I snapped a few pictures.

If you stare really hard at the center of this picture, you can see the masked bandit. It was sitting on the hill outside our bedroom window. The Man was shining the spotlight on it, but the lighting wasn't the best to get a good picture.

Here is one I took with the flash. Look at those beady eyes.

The man brought the trash can back inside. The raccoon did return as we were dozing off again, but we just ignored it and it did go away.

Silence. Finally.


The Man asked if I recognized that noise.

"Yes. That is the smoke detector letting us know the battery needs to be replaced."

So, The Man rose once again to silence the smoke detector. We didn't even have a chance to try to doze off again before my alarm went off at 5:15. I turned it off and we slept for 45 minutes before really getting up to start our day.

If anyone asks about the dark circles under our eyes today, we'll just blame the raccoon.

p.s. The hawks are back. Another hen was killed on Sunday. The chickens have been penned up since then.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The post went with the letters...2 Chronicles 30:6

We went up to the post office yesterday afternoon for our passports. The Man was delayed and the postal employee told me last week we'd have to be there by 3:00 p.m., so the kids and I went on up to get the paperwork started.

I'd downloaded all the forms, filled them out, taken the pictures and had them developed last week. They would have done the pictures at the post office, but, frankly, some passport pictures I've seen kind of resemble a deer in the headlights. By doing them myself I had some control over the picture that will be on my passport for the next 10 years. Oh, and for about 2 hours of my time messing with the lighting, fiddling with the picture size, taking pictures, and doing it all over again when it didn't do right the first time, I saved over $70. It would have cost $75 total for the post office to take the pictures. It was slightly over $2 for developing at the one-hour lab. I went in prepared to pay the $ for the post office to do them if the ones I had weren't suitable, but the postmaster said they were great.

The postmaster was impressed. Not only with my well-organized folder, but also with the children who had been given the "no running, no pushing, stand still, be quiet, we're going to be here for a long time" talk before we got out of the van. The postmaster took his time with our applications because we were waiting for The Man to come and sign them also. By the time he had done all he could do and I wrote out the six checks (ouch), one with each application to the Department of State and one to the postmaster, The Man was still not there. Postmaster had already figured out that we were homeschoolers and offered to give us a tour of the facility while we were waiting. Cool! We love impromptu field trips, especially since I rarely get around to scheduling any.

Just as the postmaster came around to the door to let us in the back, The Man arrived. He quickly signed and gave his info to the postmaster then we all got to go on the official tour. But first, postmaster made all the kids raise their right hands and promise not to touch any mail.

The kids enjoyed the tour and peeking inside an official mail truck. We don't have mail trucks in our little town. Postmaster told the kids that the mail trucks don't have a radio or air conditioning so they'd better stay in school!

I was sure to point out to the kids that the postmaster probably wouldn't have invited us in the back if they hadn't behaved themselves while in the front. It is the little things.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Let us not be weary in well doing...Galatians 6:9

Just another quick post to catch up on our busy-filled-to-the-brim life here over the past month.

We started school on August 20, planning to ease into the school year gradually. I don't think we're all the way there yet (we've been way too busy with other things), but it is coming along.

Church has been eventful with a funeral, evangelistic meetings, and 2 more baptisms in addition to all the other "regular" church-related items.

Travels: The thought of going anywhere after our summer full of go-go-go almost makes me shudder. However, we are planning on visiting some friends next month while The Man takes a certification course. We are also kicking around the idea of a weekend trip in November. Today we are all planning on going up to the city to get the paperwork moving on passports. The Man already has his, but he will have to sign for the kids'. We don't have immediate plans to need them, but we thought we'd get them now since we heard the rates are going up next year.

I'm sure there is some stuff I've left out, but I need to go read with A now...I told The Man the other day that it felt like I was holding down at least 2 full-time jobs. He said he knew how I felt.

Dust thou art...Genesis 3:19

Our church had a booth at the county fair again this year. We had another good year and lots of great conversations with people. Fortunately, the VeggieTales people weren't right next to us this time.

Grandma came and stayed with the kids for the week. She even brought them over to the fair so they could make some dirt babies for her to take home.

Here is A posing with her baby:


J, notice the headgear:

Speaking of headgear...The orthodontist was very impressed with his progress at the last visit. He now only wears it 12 hours a day (rather than 20). He puts it on right after supper and takes it off before breakfast. The orthodontist also put brackets on his upper 4 front teeth so he has braces now also.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Dwell in the wilderness...Psalm 72:9

9/17: Wow! I came to make a post and found that I never actually published these pictures from July & August. Here they are:

The day after M's baptism we took a pack trip up in the mountains with family (13 of us in all) and the Dog.

The Man knows a man who for various reasons isn't doing professional packing this season, but wanted to keep his animals in shape. So, he offered to take our stuff up in the mountains for us.

Here are that man and his brother packing our stuff into the bags (don't they look like authentic mountain men?)
Here is the mountain man riding and leading two of the pack animals up the trail.

Here's the third animal following along behind.
He left our stuff beside this quiet little lake. For the next 3 days we didn't see any other people.

With the Dog along, we didn't see many other creatures either. We did find some fresh evidence of bear.

We also found a few yellow jackets. S found the most. He now knows that jumping up and down on top of a yellow jacket nest is not a good way to get them to stop stinging. The Man made him some charcoal poultice and that made life a bit better.

A tiger lily that The Man liked...

Wednesday morning we packed up our stuff and the mountain man returned to pick up our things. Here he is weighing the packs. The animals like it if their load is evenly balanced. Maybe that is a good lesson for all of us.
It was good to return home. Some of us would like to live in the wilderness forever, but some of us enjoy an occasional warm shower and clean clothes.